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Friday, 3 July 2015

goals for the summer


I was once a to-do list/goals list addict, but I become disillusioned because I found that (a) I put myself under unnecessary stress to achieve things; (b) I'm very fickle so would change my mind and decide they're not relevant, so the whole process was a waste of time; or (c) life would get in the way and throw up other things, so goals would be forgotten.

I still feel like this, to a point. I enjoy taking each day as it comes and just getting on with stuff without the need to cross it off a list to prove to myself that I'm being productive. But at the same time, all this 'living in the moment' stuff means its easy to forget that life is constantly moving and if we want to achieve something, or learn something new, sometimes we need to plan for it.

My life is in a transitionary phase just now. I'm restless and agitated and I know that's what change feels like for me. So, I bought a new notepad and dedicated it to outlining where I want to go next in life.

I wrote down the elements that my ideal day/week/month/year would contain, and I was surprised to find how many of these elements I'm already doing (meditation, walking, submitting short stories, time with certain people), and how many others  it would be easy to incorporate (a weekend away a month, qualifications towards things I'd like to learn, writing retreats). I'm not as far away from my current version of an ideal life as I thought. Obviously my ideal will change over time, but for now I can take more steps towards what I want right now.

So, to that end I've created some goals for July and August that will help me move closer to where I want to be. I've included a couple of things I need to remember to do, or that I need to get round to doing, and there are some goals that will need to be broken into smaller steps. But for now, these are my plans for the rest of the summer:

Finish my short story course
Save £200 towards a proof-reading course
Learn Reiki level 1
Submit 12 short stories to competitions or publications
Attend a writing retreat
Continue to blog twice weekly
Submit an article to a blog or online publication
Make something for L's baby
Finish clearing out the garage
*Private - work related*
Learn to darn
Use my sewing machine at least once
Dye the top with the bleach stains
Start nutrition or life coaching course
Get quotes from professional photographer
Do 8 weeks of yoga classes
Plan my next tattoo

Phew! I think that's plenty to be getting on with for now. A mix of new skills and interesting subjects, plus a couple of goals that keep me accountable towards my longer term goals of getting more writing published and keeping this blog alive! (And a couple just for fun, of course...)

Do you have any goals for the next few months? What's your attitude towards goals - do you stick to what you want or do you often find you lose interest (like I do!)?

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

do you have a recycling bin in your bathroom?

source

Government waste quango, WRAP, have recently suggested that every family should have a recycling bin in their bathroom. Apparently many people, even those who are otherwise good at recycling, have a habit of forgetting to recycle bathroom items which means they inevitably end up in landfill.

Despite the cynicism of some very reliable *ahem* daily tabloids, I do think WRAP have a valid point. From my own experience of working in the waste industry, people do forget about their bathroom stuff. Its so easy to chuck everything in one bin that even otherwise conscientious families often landfill things they shouldn't. Two bins isn't always the answer (and that same reliable tabloid has also reliably informed us that recycling in bathrooms will not be made compulsory. Good to know) as bathrooms can be pretty small. My own personal solution is not to have any bin in my bathroom at all. Any non-recyclable waste goes in the bedroom bin and recyclable stuff sits at the top of the stairs so I can take it down and put it in the recycling bin. Easy!

So here's a reminder of bathroom items that shouldn't be going to landfill (although please check with your Local Authority as recycling service collections differ).

Toilet roll tubes
A small item but across the UK they soon add up! They can also be thrown in your compost bin.

Shampoo and shower gel bottles
They just need a quick rinse out, which you can even do while you're in the bath/shower. One way of reducing your overall waste is to use soap instead of shower gel; there are many natural based soaps out there that won't dry out your skin, and which come in minimal, or no, packaging. Other plastic cosmetic bottles can be recycled too - lotion, baby oil, hand soap etc.

Bleach and cleaning product bottles
These are probably the most commonly forgotten items. But if your Council accepts plastic bottles then these can go in too. They can sometimes be hard to rinse if they have a nozzle. If you can't get the nozzle off, or don't want to remove it, just give it a rinse under the tap to get the worst of the product off.

Aerosols
Most Councils now accept these for recycling, but its definitely one to double check. They should be empty before going in the bin - whether that be a recycling or refuse bin - so make sure you use all the product up first.

Cardboard boxes from soap, toothpaste etc
As with toilet roll tubes - recycle or chuck in the compost bin. Ultimately, try to avoid products with cardboard packaging. Both soap and toothpaste can be bought without it.

Do you remember to recycle your 'bathroom waste'?

Friday, 26 June 2015

writing my novel is taking forever - so here's my plan



I've been working on two novels on and off for a while. One for around ten years, the other for three. I'e accepted that the ten year one was more a learning exercise than anything else so I've more or less shelved it, but I'm still plodding on with the other. And I'm still hitting the same dead ends.

I don't need to put much thought into why its taking me so long. I know the answer. I'm scared because the real, live novel will be nowhere near as perfect as it appears in my head. When I think about my novel, I don't look at it head-on; I slip side glances at it. I see a neat manuscript. I see a paperback with my name on the cover. But I never look inside these items because if I don't look inside them, they remain perfect. They're complete, well-written, strong, engaging. Which isn't to say the real finished product won't be any (or all!?) of these things but I lack faith in myself to achieve them. Its easier just to keep tinkering with, or rewriting, what I've already written than think about where I'm going to go next. Plus I want it to be perfect. And if I keep rewriting it and editing it, I'm getting closer to perfection, surely? But overall, my fear can be boiled down to this:

I'm scared of finishing the novel and realising its crap

Which the first draft probably will be, because that's first drafts for you. I know this because all writers say so, and not only that, the first drafts of my short stories are always crap. There's usually something salvageable, but I need to rework them and polish them.

I'm utterly sick fed up of the constant internal battle. Of deciding I'll work on the novel and then deciding that its too hard to think of where to go next, so I'll leave that so I can think about it some more, and instead just rework the first paragraph of chapter two, because it reads a bit clunky. I'm tired of thinking about it. And I don't want to become 'that writer' who bangs on and on about a book they're working on, but never produces. I've been stuck around 35000 words for almost a year now. So its make or break.

And I've decided to make

The break option was to shelve the project. But I don't want to. I want to write this novel. But I need help. I need support. This will be my first novel, and its hard. Not that later novels are easy, but I need to know I can do this. I've identified my particular weakness and its time to overcome it.

I've booked myself into a week-long writing retreat at Moniack Mhor in August. It's paid for, so there's no backing out. I'll get the chance to connect with other writers, and receive expert tutoring, plus I'll have tonnes of time to write with no excuses. It will be a chance to kick start a project I've stalled on for so long. And on my return I'm going to advertise for beta readers for the first few chapters so that I can get over my fear of getting the words out there, even if they aren't perfect.

I feel something has shifted, as if there is hope for this novel yet.

Is there a big project in your life - creative or otherwise - that you keep putting off because of fear? Is there something you could do to get things moving?

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

how to do just 10 minutes of housework a day


Sarah once wrote a post about her friend who manages to have a busy lifestyle yet also a tidy, clean house. Her secret? Ten minutes of housework every day. When I read that post, a light bulb switched on. I could do this. (couldn't link to the actual post - wonder if its been archived?).

I don't actually hate housework, and I do love a tidy and clean house. But I don't like to spend ages on it, and I've never been able to stick to a schedule so its always been more crisis management than household management. But could I achieve a baseline level of tidiness and cleanliness in ten minutes a day?

I intended to give it a good go, so I honed the technique to suit me, and was surprised and pleased to find that yes, it is possible to keep my house clean and tidy in ten minutes a day

And this is how I do it.

Before I go any further, some points for clarification...
My ten minutes doesn't include:
- making my bed (this is a habit that I just do every day)
- cooking and prep
- washing the dishes, wiping down the cooker top and giving kitchen surfaces a quick wipedown (I do all dishes once per day - this takes less than ten minutes in itself and is a habit more than anything else)
- ironing (I do not iron anything. Ever. Problem solved)
- cleaning out the rat cage (usually done on a Sunday although I give some bits and pieces a wipedown every 2 days)
- gardening
- cleaning the car
- taking laundry out of the machine and hanging it up (putting it away usually fits into my ten minutes on a Friday, but not always)
- big jobs, like defrosting the freezer, cleaning out the fridge, or any sort of clearing out

My only pets are the rats so I don't have cats or dogs to clean up after. I also don't have children. I have no idea if this would be doable with children - but if you try it and it is,  let me know! I also only need to do one laundry load a week (plus sometimes one bedding/towel load) so I only do laundry at weekends. I also only have two indoor bins - in the bedroom and the kitchen

So, onto how I do it...

First of all, I divided my house into seven areas and decided what needed to be done in each. Then, on each particular day I spend ten minutes in that room/area, doing whatever needs to be done.

Monday - Living Room
Dust, vaccuum, tidy up piles of papers, remove anything that belongs elsewhere

Tuesday - Kitchen
Sweep and mop floor, clean inside oven, clean window ledge, wipe fronts of cupboards/drawers, tidy up anything lying about, give sink a good wipe down

Wednesday - Spare Bedroom (used as study)
Dust, tidy up piles of papers, remove anything that belongs elsewhere, put things away (I don't vaccuum - instead I vaccuum on Saturday when doing main bedroom, to save faffing)

Thursday - Hallway and landing
Vaccuum stairs, dust all areas, remove and put away anything sitting on stairs or on ledge by door

Friday - Back Lobby and Downstairs Toilet
Sweep and mop floor, put clean laundry away, wipe down toilet and sink, change towel, wipe down skirtings or doors if dusty, wipe down washing machine, tidy away anything lying around in utility cupboard

Saturday - Bedroom
Change bedding (not every week), put laundry downstairs into machine, vaccuum, dust surfaces, dust doors and skirting board if required, empty wastepaper bin, tidy dressing table, put away any clothes, pick up anything lying on the floor and put it away

Sunday - Bathroom
Sweep and mop floor, clean toilet, clean sink, change towels, clean bath and shower screen, dust skirtings and windowsill

Some days are easier than others (Wednesday and Thursday!) so sometimes if I have a big job that needs done, I'll fit them into those days. Often, the spare room needs nothing done, and I also find I don't need to vaccuum the stairs every week, so on those days I have time to spare. And I don't always do every single thing listed above. For example, the oven doesn't need cleaned every week, but by cleaning it regularly, it takes just minutes to wipe down. Mostly, I manage all I need to do in ten minutes. I don't time myself exactly; some days its nearer twenty minutes, whereas other days less than five. But knowing I only have to do ten minutes improves my focus and makes me just get on with it. And I actually enjoy it, because I know it won't last long and I know its keeping my house looking how I want it.

Would this work for your house? Or do you actually enjoy housework?!

Friday, 19 June 2015

life lessons from my first job


As a teen I was shy and socially awkward. In true 'cruel to be kind' style my Mum phoned round all the hotels in town when I was 15, and put my name down for a weekend/evening waitress job. One of them offered me a job on the spot, so I was hauled into the house (my sister and I had been outside riding our bikes) and told to put on nice clothes so my Dad could take me over for a chat with the Manager. I dutifully did so, in a mix of paralysing fear and overwhelming excitement. I was going to have a job! I was going to make my own money! But I was also going to have go out in public and face people. Talk to them. Work with them.

It was one of the best things my Mother ever did for me. I worked there until I was 17, and then came back during University holidays, and also for a brief spell after I graduated. I do believe we learn more in our first job than in any other job we have afterwards, so here's what my first job taught me about life, work and money.

We are capable of more than we realise
On my first night, I was horrified to discover we had to take the meals into the bar and shout out a number. The customer with the corresponding number would then acknowledge us and we would take their meal over. I had to shout out a number in front of a room of complete strangers! The first time I had to do this alone, my shy heart almost hammered its way out of my chest. I was dizzy with fear and could barely remember the damn number! But after I'd done it a few times, that was it. Easy. It seems such a small deal now, as I've given talks to groups of nearly a hundred, but it was a massive deal at the time and it boosted my confidence no end. We are always capable of more than we realise, and once we try something, its surprising where it will lead. Remember - we can't be brave if we never feel fear!!

Manners go a long way
As both a waitress and a customer. Manners and an efficient, polite service meant more tips and pleasant customers. But at the same time, manners were beyond some customers and I really wanted to tip their food over their head. Or spit in it. I never did, but it made me aware that there are others out there who would do just that! There will always be mistakes and complaints but a customer who complaints politely and fairly, will get less of an ear-bashing than those who are just a complete arse. So yeah, be nice. But if someone isn't nice, don't let them ruin your day. But don't spit in their soup, either...

Learn as much as you can
This is something I picked up unintentionally, mainly because I was scared of having nothing to do incase I got told off for just standing around. I watched the housemaids using the pedal iron, so that I could learn how to iron bedsheets and pillowcases myself. I helped the breakfast chef so that I could cook breakfasts myself in the smaller sister hotel when there was only a couple of guests. I watched everything the full-time waitresses did so that I knew what small, unimportant jobs needed to be done. This meant I could cover for various members of staff, the result of which meant I got extra hours plus I never got told off for doing nothing! As humans, we're meant to keep learning. And the more we learn, the more scope there is for us.

Look for possibilities and take chances
Early on, I knew I wanted to work on reception. I'd grown to enjoy working with the customers and as time went on, I knew a lot about the hotel. When I was 16, I had the opportunity to do 2 weeks work experience through school. I approached my Manager and asked if I could do it in the hotel and learn how to cover reception. She agreed, so I spent 2 weeks learning the ropes, before moving on to regular reception shifts at weekends. I then progressed onto more or less running the small sister hotel during my summer holidays when I was seventeen. It was a wonderful summer and I loved every minute of it. So the point is, don't be scared to ask. Don't be scared to take chances and grab possibilities with both hands. People might say no. Things might not work out. But at least you tried.

People are much less interested in you than you think
Like I said above, I didn't want to stand in the bar and shout out a number. Everyone would look at me! They might be drunk! They might make a comment! But mostly, no one cared except those waiting for their  number to be called and even then they were more interested in the number I called than anything else. I've always struggled with self-esteem and a need for people to like me, but I grew less self-conscious as I came to realise that people don't really notice me that much. Click here to read more about my issue of worrying about what people think, and how to overcome it.

If you don't know what to say to someone, ask questions
I was rubbish at conversation, unless it was with a close friend or family member. I would just clam up; I had no idea how to start a conversation or keep it going, But I did know how to answer questions. One other waitress, we'll call her E, was a  great conversationalist and I longed to be like her. Her trick was to ask questions, to be interested in the other person. I loved talking to her and I realised this was because she was (or at least pretended to be) interested in me - in what I did and in what my opinions were, and her way of talking to me meant I always had something to say. I copied this technique from her, and although it took me a few years to overcome my shyness, this helped me improve, and its something I still do today, What makes it better is that - for me at least - it isn't contrived; I genuinely do find other people interesting. And people love to talk about themselves. Be curious about other people. Learn from them.

Mistakes and accidents happen
I overcharged people, undercharged people, gave the wrong orders to the wrong people, dropped cutlery on people, spilled drinks, dropped food (including two £20 fillet steaks), tripped, fell over, broke crockery amd glasses, burnt toast. And that was just on my first night. Just kidding - I didn't do these things on a regular basis - I wasn't that bad at my job - but often enough to realise that shit happens. None of it was on purpose, and nobody died. Not only did it make me aware that making mistakes is OK but it also showed me the importance of not giving others a hard time over theirs. Where mistakes are concerned, own up. Its not always easy but its better on your conscience and nine times out of ten, they're no big deal in the grand scheme of things. 

Attention to detail is important
Waitressing sounds like something anyone can do. Yet I worked with various folk who were hopeless, and the one thing that let them down was their lack of attention to detail. Clean cutlery set out correctly on a table. Sugar bowls filled. Enough bread and butter for everyone at the table. Glasses polished. The small things that are so easy to overlook but are enough to ruin someone's impressions of the place. And if attention to detail is important in something as simple as setting a table, its important in any job. And its something that can be learned. Slow down. Check things twice. Be present. Its a great way to show competence and reliability, and a guarantee that you'll do a better job.

I like tea
I drank tea when I was very young but when I was about 6 I decided I hated it. And that was that. At work, everyone drank tea though, and when I was first offered a cup, I said yes, mainly because tea break seemed to be such a big deal. So I had a tea with four - yes, four! - sugars. And I was surprised to find I enjoyed it. I've been an avid tea drinker ever since (minus the sugar now though - eurgh!). So the moral of this story is, just because you used to hate something, doesn't mean you'll always hate it. We aren't defined by our likes or dislikes, so be open-minded. Try everything twice!

Know when its time to quit
I didn't do this. Towards the end, I was working two jobs - this one and another - but my heart was in the other job. This one suffered. The hotel and I had run our course. But like so many other things in life, I clung onto it because I resisted change. Only when I realised that my attention to detail was seriously flagging (see above) did I realise that it was time to jump before I ended up being pushed. And this is true of many things in life - jobs, relationships, living arrangements, responsibilities. Life is ever changing, but we humans love to fight it. To keep things the same because that's what we know. It's safe. But it isn't always the right thing to do and change is inevitable. You'll know when the time is right. Act on it. The transition is always painful but once you've moved on, there will be no stopping you.

What did your first job teach you?

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

come and join the rebellion!


Originally blogged in March 2014. I kept this post because I love the message behind it. Thought I'd reblog it today as I'm feeling a bit rebellious....

While walking along the cliffs on my way back from Lidl, I saw a guy in the caravan park throwing a ball for a dog. I recognised the guy from my youthful, drinking days - I didn't know his name but I remembered that my friend and I used to call him Rebel. I couldn't think why; he doesn't seem very rebellious now (although his dog kept refusing to give him the ball back, so I guess his dog is a bit of a rebel) and I couldn't recall him doing anything rebellious when we used to speak to him in the pub. Saying that, I do remember him and his friend in the pub wearing dog outfits once, which is a bit rebellious, and is also giving this post a bit of a dog theme.

Anyway, I asked my friend, who reminded me that actually he used to call us rebels. And as we didn't know his name, we named him Rebel. Wow, I thought. I was a rebel once. Or so Rebel thought. When did I stop rebelling? Have I grown old and boring? But then it occurred to me that I'm now a bigger rebel than I ever was at 18.

Me at 18: newly inked tattoos, pierced tongue and lip, dyed hair, combat trousers, quirky jewellery, obscure indie bands, pints of Guinness, a bit of an attitude. I was cool, y'know. I was a rebel.

Except I wasn't, really. I was at that awkward teen/adult phase where I was trying to find my place in the world. And in true teen style I tried to fit in by not fitting in. And I wasn't rebelling in the truest sense of the word. I wasn't wrecking the place, and I was still polite to people. Just a bit aloof, because I obviously knew so much more about life and the world than them, they just didn't realise it yet.

What does it mean to rebel? It's not neccesarily about overthrowing the government, it's about being who you are and not conforming to what people expect, just because you feel you have to. Rebelling is making the decision not to have children in a society that generally expects all women to become mothers. Rebelling is sitting on a bench at the beach and writing in your notepad or just staring into space, not caring if people think you're weird. Rebelling is positioning your camera perfectly at the edge of the railings to get a cool shot, ignoring the fact there are people walking past and wondering what type of crack you're smoking*. Rebelling is making a point of talking to the guy at work that the others shun because he's from a poor family and doesn't live life the same way they do. Rebelling is saying 'I don't get it' when someone makes a blatant homophobic joke. Rebelling is telling a dog owner to pick up that turd their dog just left on the pavement. Rebelling is working in a male-oriented sector and commanding (and getting) respect.

I could not have done any of the above at 18. I would have children one day, because that's what women do. And there'll be no photographs or writing in public, people will think I'm crazy. And I'm not talking to that guy even though he's a nice guy, because the others might associate me with him and not like me either. That joke isn't funny but I'd better laugh anyway, because if I don't, the joke teller might not like me any more. I hate dog shit on the street but I'm not telling them to pick it up, what if they tell me to fuck off? No way am I working with a load of men, I won't know how to act and what will I do if they make a sexist comment?

It's easy to think that as we get older, we lose that 'cool' edge that our younger selves had. But in reality, the older we get, the more comfortable we get with ourselves and who we are, and that's when the rebellion really starts.

Join the rebellion! What do you do to 'rebel' that you wouldn't dare do when you were young and 'cool'?

*I doubt anyone even notices me doing these things, but as we all like to be the stars in our own lives, its easy to assume that everyone in the world is obviously interested in what I'm doing.

Friday, 12 June 2015

the konmari method - or how i learned to fold my socks and empty my handbag


I'm fairly clean and tidy as it is although I do enjoy reading books about clutter-clearing, because, well, you can never be too organised. Can you? Anyway this was on my wish list for a while, but as it soared in popularity my interest dwindled. Until I managed to get my hands on a cheap copy and decided to give it a go. (I reviewed it here but I think it merits it's own post).

OK, so the method is simple, mind-numbingly so. Simply pick up each item you own and ask 'does this spark joy?' If yes, it stays, if no, it goes. I found that in reality its not that black and white though; for example my cutlery doesn't spark joy (although if I went without it for a while, it might). Nor does my hammer or my toilet brush but I quite like having them around. I guess you could argue that something practical sparks joy in its own peculiar way, but I did have to widen my scope here a bit.

To be fair, the question seems to work wonders though. On scouring the net, there are stories of people applying it to just about everything in life, from body weight to their jobs and relationships. And I've got rid of a lot more stuff in my 'KonMari declutter' than in previous declutters. I guess it makes you really question why you're holding on to something.

Marie also states that instead of decluttering room by room, you gather all like items together. So start with clothes, then move on to books, toiletries, electronics, household goods, paperwork, mementos. I've always been a room-by-roomer, but I like Marie's method. It makes it easier to see what you have and then group similar things together. You then store like items together, e.g. all paperwork together, all toiletries together etc so you always know where things are and you can see at a glance how much you have.

Marie has loads of small suggestions for things you can do to keep your home and life organised. These are a few that I've adopted (plus a few I wasn't so keen on...)

Fold your socks and roll your clothes
Everyone was making a Huge Deal about the sock folding, There's even You Tube videos dedicated to it. And how I scoffed. Fold my socks? I've been balling them into 'potatoes', as Marie calls them, and I've been doing so all my life. But in the spirit of things I gave it a go, just to prove to myself that its a load of old faff, and that balling them is much easier.

It isn't, though. Folding them is awesome!

Marie says that balled-up socks never get a chance to rest and are always in a state of tension. I'm not sure about that, although its fair to say it does knacker their elastic. They do feel nicer when I put them on but I suspect its more to do with the fact that it feels like putting on a new pair of socks straight from the pack.

I actually enjoy the ritual of taking my time over my clean socks, and folding them neatly. I've also changed how I fold everything else, and am now an advocate of rolling things up. Marie suggests rolled items should be stored vertically. My drawers aren't deep enough for this so I store them horizontally instead. It's lovely because I can see at a glance what I have which means I don't end up wearing the same stuff from the top of the pile.

Keep the edge around the bath clear
I didn't have a lot of toiletries anyway; I'm not one for loads of shampoo or shower gel bottles, I have one of each. So shifting them from the edge of the bath into the cupboard below the sink was no hassle. The bathroom looks calmer and clearer, plus it feels a lot more spacious. I thought that taking the items out of the cupboard and replacing them every time would become a pain, but so far I've barely noticed. It makes the bath easier to clean too, bonus!

Empty your handbag every day
Marie suggests we thank our handbag each day, and empty it so that it can 'rest'. I don't thank it, but I do empty all contents into a basket in the utility cupboard.  I'm notorious for accumulating crap in my handbag so this is a great way of keeping on top of it. It also stops me forgetting what I already have and ending up with 5 packets of tissues/lips balms/packets of chewing gum/earphones. I'm not entirely sure I'll stick with this, but I've realised I need less in my bag than I think. There are some items I don't always need and some I never need.

Store things in the shop until you need them
I love this concept. I'm bad for buying deodorant, toothpaste etc as soon as the current one is half empty, then storing them until I need them. It's just more clutter though. Instead, Marie suggests that instead of storing these items in a  cupboard, you 'store them in the shop' until you need them. I mean, the world isn't going to run out of them, and this is an easy one for me because I live so near the shops so can pop out any time. Again, devilishly simple. It won't work for everything; I'll still buy 2 for 1 offers if its something I use, and when I order my make-up online I'll order more than one to save on postage, But for everyday toiletries its a great idea and it makes perfect sense.

Some of Marie's advice I haven't taken: 
  • Throw items away just because they're no longer used or they have a rip/button missing (I hate waste and its a shame Marie didn't address this issue, even fleetingly)
  • Throw away duplicates. No. I am not throwing away eleven of my twelve lip balms. Instead I now store them together and will use them up over time
  • Each item has its own energy. And when it gets tatty, it wants you to throw it away so that the energy can come back to you in the form of something new (at the very least, I'm sure my tatty items of clothes would rather be recycled than thrown away)
  • If you don't know where to store something, ask your house and it will tell you (sadly my house does not seem to give a shit where I put things)

Some of it is just a bit too out there for me. Marie's tone of writing is hilarious though; it comes across as very School Marm-ish, but at the same time she's clearly passionate about what she does, and going by Instagram, so are many of her followers.

My verdict - it hasn't changed my life but its changed how I look at my stuff and its changed how I look after my socks. Not a bad result.

Have you read this book? Have you adopted any of Marie's methods?